Can we talk financial reports?

Square-Enix is really not doing so well. The company sold Eidos a couple of years ago, pivoted hard to high cost PS5 exclusives, and now it’s come back to massively bite them in the ass. Outside of this very podcast, no other outlet gave FF16 the coveted game of the year award, so it’s crashing the whole company so much they’ve sworn they’re going to release on Switch and Xbox.

Man, being an Xbox/Switch owner who can’t pay to play the FF7 remakes, of course it’s boneheaded to spend so much on a game and not release it on Switch. The FF7 remake should have been made for Switch from the get-go!

6 Likes

when will the stock price get so low that the hosts can buy SE with the patreon money?

12 Likes

Expecting a console with 1/3rd the install base of PS4 to be enough to go exclusive was incredibly short sighted. More switch games sounds good to me, but FF7 chibi would not be something I’d want to play and probably what they’d have to do for switch. Feel like any FF7 fan wanted a big graphix heavy remake bc they lacked the imagination to go back to ps1 polygons (just going off my irl ff7 fanatic friends).

My fear is they’ll double down on crypto/NFTs as a Hail Mary and completely kill the company over the course of the next decade. They should just sell to Microsoft and let them do their thing instead, rip the bandaid off.

3 Likes

Over the last while SE has been putting out a lot of more mid-sized games and I’d be curious how those have performed for them. I’d imagine well enough to not be a drain, some of them probably have done pretty well even.

Bloated AAA budgets matched with console exclusivity dragging them down seems obvious.

2 Likes

they’ve got the FF14 gravy train to keep them afloat. That won’t happen.

3 Likes

While some of them may not have been blockbusters, they most likely paid for themselves

Square Enix is no stranger to its games “failing to meet expectations” nor a stranger to corporate restructurings and pivots of this nature, so I’m honestly a little skeptical that the company is actually crashing. I think it’s too early to tell on that front at this point

I’d imagine that with the exclusivity deals they made with Sony for the Remake trilogy and FFXVI that they aren’t in imminent danger, even if they are going to have quiet two or three years after Dawntrail drops in a month (which has a solid chance of being a good shot in the arm for them anyway)

6 Likes

Hard disagree. I don’t think the issue has to do with Final Fantasy XVI, Rebirth, and the luxurious mid-budget PS4/PS5 exclusives they pumped out. They mentioned “content abandoment” which says to me the issue is with their live services games like Ever Crisis, Babylon’s Fall, Foamstars, and the NFT game failing to give them the long-tail they were hoping for. FFXVI and Rebirth sold under expectations (I think in part because of Japan’s weird currency situation) but will be very profitable in the long term – I don’t think that’s the fundamental issue here.

Obviously Forspoken was bomb with a troubled development and release, I won’t sugarcoat that one. They dissolved Luminous Productions into Creative Business Unit II which signals they won’t be taking $100 million chances like that again, but I think some of the underlying decision making wasn’t terrible - they hired the right people for it and brokered a deal with Sony to sell PS5s and that teaser succeeded at creating hype, but it was just totally mishandled and mismarketed. I think if they made that game with a scope and budget closer to something like the Star Ocean Divine Force or Valkyrie Elysium and it would have even been more well received – and I think they probably recognize that too.

I hear you, but as a work of art, it was important to make the game ridiculous. The fact that they made it the most ambitious game ever elevates it. I think FFXVI on Switch would have been fine, it wouldn’t have lost anything by constraining itself to switch hardware. FF7 Rebirth would have lost something in translation, and it might even lose that in a couple of years as the AAA industry keeps pumping out big games. FF7 Rebirth is a showpiece and uses its budget to make a statement, but not every game needs that – I think DQ12 will benefit by not going in that direction, and would actually sell like crazy if it’s a launch game for Nintendo’s new hardware and cross-compatible with Switch, and I really hope that’s what they do.

9 Likes

they pretty much say without saying in the report that the answer is “not well enough” with the exception of a few standouts like octopath II (which itself only has reported sales of 1m compared to original octopath’s 3m, but the data is old). that’s why they’ve canceled a bunch of those and refocused on fewer larger games.

Like I said on the show I think we’re gonna miss square enix’s “try stuff” midlevel game era even if they didn’t take any big swings with it. I will say I don’t think becoming conservative is necessarily the best way forward for square enix but Capcom is basically conservative and they’re doing quite well, so if they can manage to actually start making hyper-focused games based on known properties (which is what conservative means in Capcom’s sense) maybe they’ll have something.

11 Likes

All Square needs to to is make an Einhänder sequel that is as good as the first. Financial problems solved!

5 Likes

they could solve their problems by paying their employees less and implementing AI Solutions to Enhance productivity.

3 Likes

Pretty sure all this means is the microbudget being spent to make FFIX look and play a little nicer was ripped out from under it and the code base thrown into the garbage disposal at SE.

2 Likes

Regarding the FF7 remakes, I think those reports we’re seeing mean we will get treated to a smaller game for the third outing. I would bet good money the third title has nothing like the depth of development of the first two titles, where each house would have some amount of unique assets inside. Be prepared for high fidelity cut and paste houses, and the same assets we got in the first title with nary an improved texture in sight when we inevitably go back to Midgar.

If I’m right, it means the remakes lost something in the process. They couldn’t go bigger and bigger, and had to reduce their scope as the project went along. That to me is a failure of the whole thing as a work of art. We were promised an ever bigger scope, which I’m convinced we’re not getting for the third one. I expect a game that feels like perennial cash-grab Modern Warfare III.

I’d also expect a lot more emphasis on releasing that third chapter on Xbox/PC/Super Switch(?) with the the two preceding chapters at the same time. If their contract with Sony even allows it.